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Home > News > PTI

Kudankulam N-plants will be delayed

May 21, 2007 15:09 IST

The two Russian-made 1000 MW nuclear power plants at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, scheduled to be commissioned by December, may be delayed by 12-18 months, a top Nuclear Power Corporation official said on Monday.

The two nuclear power plants may now be commissioned only by early 2009 due to delay in delivery of equipment by Russia, NPCIL director S K Agarwal told PTI.

The pressure vessel of one the reactors has been installed early this year but other crucial equipment were yet to be delivered by Russia and if there are no more delay, "we are hoping to commission both the reactors in 2009," he said.

But we will be pushing the Russian industry in the next two to three months to speed up the delivery of equipment," he said.

There was reorganisation and consolidation of Russian nuclear industry as part of the global nuclear renaissance to control nuclear supply chain, which also contributed to the delay, he added.

The establishment of the state-owned holding 'Atomenergyoprom' under a recent presidential decree was a result of a large-scale reform of the nuclear sector in Russia, which began in 2006.

"If the Russians had begun their reform three years back, we would not have had this problem of delay in delivery of equipment and even drawings in some of the cases," Agarwal said.

The new Russian joint-stock company, 'Atomenergyoprom', which is to run the country's nuclear power industry, will be entirely controlled by the state and is a consolidation of 85 small nuclear companies in Russia.

Its charter is being drafted, and a list of assets to be incorporated into it is being compiled. Atomenergyoprom will take over all civilian nuclear programmes and integrate all civilian nuclear assets.

In the first phase, it will take over state shares in about 30 companies, the largest of them being TVEL, Techsnabexport (Tenex) and Atomenergomash, and in the second phase the remaining 55 companies.

The vertical structure of the holding will unite all segments of the nuclear cycle, from uranium ore mining and enrichment to the production and enrichment of nuclear fuel, and the designing and construction of nuclear power plants.

This is a process similar to the consolidation done globally between General Electric and Hitachi, AREVA and Siemens and Westinghouse and Toshiba in nuclear stock holdings, which the Nuclear Suppliers Group consider important to control nuclear supply chain, one of the top NPCIL officials told PTI.

"We are hoping that since the final decision of consolidation process of Atomenergyoprom is over last week, the delivery of equipment for the two reactors at Kudankulam will not be delayed further," the official added.

Agarwal said, however, other construction activities are on at Kudankulam and NPCIL is also preparing itself for the next two units at the site for which memorandum has been signed with Russia.

He said, the site activities of four 700 MW pressuirsed heavy water reactors are also underway as per schedule at Kakrapar and Rajasthan.

Permission for long-delivery items and advanced procurement process has come and work on that direction will also be carried out in the coming months under the 11th Five Year Plan, the NPCIL director added.

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